An investigation is under way after a £40,000 supercar loaned to police was written off while being taken for a test drive by an officer.
The top of the range Volkswagen Golf R, which has a 155mph top speed, was wrecked when the officer lost control on a roundabout, reducing the pristine vehicle to a crumpled heap.
The officer, in his 40s, had to be cut from the wreck by firefighters and suffered spinal injuries but has now been discharged from hospital.
He was driving on a public road, testing the handling of the car, which had been loaned to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) two days before so officers could try the model out before the force decided whether to buy or not.
Fortunately, the car, which can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 5.7 seconds, was insured.
The officer involved, who works in the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) intercept unit which patrols car crime hotspots, is now temporarily suspended from driving duties while an investigation is under way.
GMP said they would also now look again at using public roads to test drive cars. No other cars were involved in the crash.
A spokesman for the force said: "Shortly before 1.50am on Thursday December 15 2011, a police officer in an unmarked vehicle was involved in a single vehicle collision on Wharfside Way, Old Trafford.
"The officer, from the ANPR Intercept Unit, was injured in the collision and he was taken to the Manchester Royal Infirmary having suffered a back injury.
"No members of the public were involved.
"As a result of this incident, Greater Manchester Police is currently reviewing its policy on officers test driving demonstration cars on public roads.
"That review is ongoing and it would not be appropriate to make any further comment."